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Windows7

January 14, 2010
    Happy Belated New Year! I hadn't realized that more than 2 months passed without an update to this section. Holidays and family gatherings took a bit of attention through the 2009 wrap-up and CES 2010 (Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) coverage has had my nearly undivided attention for the past few weeks. Maybe I'll make it to CES myself sometime but for now i get to experience it vicariously though the reviews, pictures, and videos of others.
    Windows 7 has proven to be everything I hoped it would be. The copy of Enterprise that i have been testing runs smooth as glass on a standard issue, no-frills Dell Latitude. I have had occasion to work with a few machines running 64-bit editions of the OS and have not run afoul of any of the ugly driver issues that plagued Windows Vista from Day 1.
    When i first started looking into Win7 Pre-release coverage and rumors, i thought the XP mode (available on Enterprise, Professional and Ultimate releases of Win7) sounded like a great idea. I've installed and run XP mode but have not run across situations that require me to use it. All teh applications i have tested so far play well in the Win7 playground. The only applications that have had any trouble are Symantec Endpoint Protection (Norton AV newest corporate protection package) and a VPN client. Neither of these hiccups would likely have an affect on a home user (aside from your power users). Symantec is supposedly hard at work getting all of SEP fixed for Win7 and teh VPN issue is related to the fact that Win7 have a VPN client built into the OS.
    The Home Premium edition is very enticing! I am seriously considering a new home machine again. Vista never really made me want to invest in a whole new machine just for the experience, but as the XP box gets older and farther behind the cutting edge, something shiny and speedy running Microsoft's best OS for home and media use is pretty irresistible.

November 5, 2009
    Before the October 22 release of Microsoft's newest operating system, I did take the opportunity to dip my toes into the Win7 waters by way of the Release Candidate. I never actually dedicated a machine to the testing of the Win7RC. I installed it to a Virtual PC and played with it when i had time (which wasn't nearly often enough). Now I am testing application compatibility for the company i work for on a dedicated test machine with a copy of Windows 7 Enterprise.
    First I'd like to note that in the short time i used the RC, I grew attached to the fish. Not that I dislike the new fancy Windows logo gracing the desktop, but the fish (the beta to be precise) was somehow cooler looking in my opinion.
    All of the reviews i have read on Windows 7 have been filled with praise. MaximumPC rated the OS with a "9 Kick Ass" (almost the highest rating they give out) and called it the best Windows operating system to date. After the disaster that was the Vista release and the loss of market share to long time competitor Apple and even some to perpetual underdog Linux, MIcrosoft seems to have come back to Planet Earth where their customer market resides.
    As of yet I have not run into the driver and program incompatibilities that plagued the Vista release in 2006. The interface is shiny and functional as well as user friendly and intuitive. The installation was pleasantly painless. One feature that has impressed me is that for users upgrading from a previous version of Windows, all of the files associated with the previous version are stored in windows.old folder allowing you to go back and grab files that may not have gotten backed up prior to the upgrade.
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